New Plant Mobile

Well, it had to happen. After quite a few years’ faithful service, the Paddock Plants van has been replaced by a rather more youthful pretender. Charming though she is, the dear old Plant Mobile had become just rather too unreliable to carry on. Wondering whether the van will start of a morning rather takes the edge off the excitement of setting off for a show.

NEW VAN April 13

And the list of advisory notes plus the cost of getting her through the last MOT rather clinched it and we set off on the hunt for a replacement. In our innocence we hadn’t realised just how rare the extra high roof (H3 in technical parlance) is in the big wide world of vans. Hens’ teeth is the most apt metaphor for the circumstance.

We toyed for a while with the idea of an Iveco Daily with the extra long wheelbase but, despite the best efforts of the very helpful Matt of Economy Vehicles in Bournemouth, nothing really suitable could be unearthed across the UK. After some re-evaluation we decided that a van like our existing one, ie a Renault Master long wheelbase plus extra high roof was the best fit for our needs after all, but they too were very much in the domestic poultry dental category.

However, after some dedicated trawling of Autotrader and related sites, we found just what we were after – 15 months old, 40k on the clock and in immaculate condition. And all the bells and whistles to boot in the form of air con, sat nav and the like. So, a couple of phone calls and a bit of debit card action later, we had her delivered on Tuesday and today (Sunday) we moved all the racks and stuff from the old Plant Mobile into the new one. Because the good news is we have found a buyer for the old van and she is being picked up tomorrow.

All that remains is to arrange the transfer of the TAZ number plate and to sort out graphics for the new van. But in the meantime we can still enjoy satnavving our way around Hampshire in air conditioned comfort.

Rob & Joanna – April 2013

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Back in action

Well, once again updates have been thin on the ground recently but we promise we will try to do better this year. We are now well into 2013 and no-one needs reminding how cold and miserable a year it has been pretty much so far. So we won’t remind you, just look forward hopefully into a warm and sunny future. We are way behind on the potting up, though ….. sorry, that probably counts as reminding. No more, honest. The show season has got underway despite … sorry …. and we have ventured out twice so far in 2013. Over Easter we spent three days in our thermals at the Craft & Garden Fair at Somerley Park near Ringwood, as we usually do. It was undeniably pretty Arctic, with the Sunday being the closest to anything that might attract a vaguely favourable comment. That’s the snag with early Easters, and we will just have to put it down to experience.

BIRTLEY_RPF_April_12

Then on the 14th April, the first decent day of the spring so far (oops, there we go again), we navigated up the A31 to Birtley House near Guildford to set up our stall at the Rare Plants Fair being held there. That’s a slightly less than Snowdonesque photo of our wares above. Now that was much more like it. Breezy (enough to uproot a gazebo or two – we were wise and didn’t put ours up) but otherwise sufficiently sunny and spring-like to put the thought of gardening into peoples’ minds. So we had a very busy couple of hours from 11 to 1 then a quieter afternoon during which we could savour the delights of the really rather beautiful setting and be amused by the antics of the Canada geese around the nearby lake.

Since then we have been madly potting up but in a few days’ time will have to get ourselves ready for the St John charity plant fair at Wintershill House near Durley on May 5th. After that the whole show thing really takes off which is how we like it. Hope to see you at at least one of the up and coming events!

Rob & Joanna – April 2013